Lit Drop | Candidates are lining up for 9th Suffolk special election

John Moran is the first candidate to officially launch a campaign for the 9th Suffolk House seat, which includes parts of Dorchester.
Image via Moran campaign

The race to replace Jon Santiago, who left his 9th Suffolk House seat for a Healey administration post, is underway. Anchored in the South End, the House district’s boundaries stretch down past the South Bay shopping plaza, all the way to Columbia Road.

Santiago, a major in the US Army reserve who first won the seat in 2018, resigned several weeks ago to become Gov. Maura Healey’s veterans’ services secretary.

John Moran, a Scranton, Pennsylvania, native who was the first candidate to formally launch a campaign for the seat, moved to the South End 24 years ago and has since worked for Biogen and Liberty Mutual. He still lives there with his partner Michael and their dog Edna.

He held a campaign kick-off at Titus Sparrow Park last week, where he criticized the city’s development process and called for a “planning first approach” that takes into account “protecting our most vulnerable.”

On Monday, he hit businesses in the Polish Triangle, as well as at Dorchester Brewing.

Others appear to be wading into the race. Amparo Ortiz, who works at Boston University’s School of Public Health and lives in the South End, has opened a campaign fundraising account. Jonathan Alves, a third South End resident and neighborhood advocate, said in an email last week that he is “strongly considering a run.”

Brian Kearney, a Dorchester Democrat who lives on Mt. Vernon Street, also opened a fundraising account but has said little since then.

The primary is set for May 2. The final election is May 30, but the district’s heavily Democratic electorate means the primary will be determinative.

Worrell brothers open joint constituent office

District 4 Councillor Brian Worrell and his brother, state Rep. Chris Worrell, will open a joint office at 5 Erie St, between Franklin Park and the Four Corners/Geneva MBTA commuter rail stop, this Saturday at noon.

Brian, who won the election to succeed Andrea Campbell in 2021, represents Dorchester and Mattapan on the 13-member City Council; Chris won a seat in the Fifth Suffolk House, which has parts of Dorchester and Roxbury in its district, last year, replacing Liz Miranda, who was elected to the state Senate.

“This district office will serve as a focal point for our joint initiative to amplify the voices of our community to local governments,” Councillor Worrell said in a statement. “We will hold meetings, events, and many future community engaging opportunities here in order to deliver results for our constituents. I cannot wait to open this office and continue to deliver results for District 4.”

Rep. Worrell said his goal as a state lawmaker is to “create a government that constituents can touch.” The district office will be a “hub for all things in the 5th Suffolk, he added.

At-large field gains a candidate
Clifton Braithwaite, who has worked behind the scenes of campaigns over the years, says he will put his name on the ballot for a City Council seat in this year’s municipal election.

The 55-year-old Braithwaite, who formed a fundraising committee in the beginning of March, told the Reporter in a phone interview last week that he’s running for one of the four City Council At-Large slots and that he had already gone door-knocking in West Roxbury. (The nine district council seats will also be on the ballot; the mayor’s office isn’t up again until 2025.)

“On the city level, we need some more stability and someone who truly gets it for the people,” he said.

Braithwaite, who calls Mattapan home, grew up in Newton, the son of an electronics consultant for GE and a stay-at-home mother who went to work as an executive secretary at Children’s Hospital after his father died when he was young.

With rent control likely to be a topic on the campaign trail this year, as it remains popular with voters and legislation, backed by Mayor Wu and the City Council, and is headed to Beacon Hill, Braithwaite said he needed to take a “deeper” look at the legislation before taking a stance. It’s headed in the “right direction,” he said, with capping rent increases at a maximum of 10 percent.

The four incumbent city councillors are Michael Flaherty, Julia Mejia, Ruthzee Louijeune, and Erin Murphy. The preliminary is set for Sept. 12 and the final election is scheduled for Nov. 7.

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